Campus prepares for flu season

by Martha Schick / Beacon Staff • November 4, 2015

The Center for Health and Wellness offers flu shots.
The Center for Health and Wellness offers flu shots.

With flu season well underway, Jane Powers, the director of the Center for Health and Wellness, said Emerson students still aren’t slowing down long enough to even get a shot.

“I think that most students don’t consider it a high priority,” Powers said. “Students may feel they can’t take the time out of their schedule to get it.”

Powers said that the center usually gives between 100 and 120 flu shots every semester, but there have only been 60 thus far. They have hosted one immunization clinic and will have another on Nov. 17. She said injections are also available at local pharmacies.

Alex Jimenez, a freshman visual and media arts major, said he got his flu shot at Walgreens after checking the center’s website for clinic days.

“The next clinic was on [Nov.] 17, but I wanted to get mine as soon as possible,” Jimenez said, who said he had the flu two years ago.

Besides the website, Powers said the clinics are advertised on eCampus, the center’s Twitter, and the front desk.

Freshman communication studies major Joshua Irish said he hasn’t gotten a flu shot yet.

“I haven’t been thinking about it, but I’ll probably get one at CVS Pharmacy,” Irish said. “I don’t even know where [the Center for Health and Wellness] is.”

Powers said students should still be looking into getting immunized. Flu season extends from October until May.

“It’s never too late to get it,” Powers said, “especially for those who travel.”

According to Powers, the Aetna Student Health insurance and most major insurance companies cover flu shots.

“Students have said in the past that they don’t get the shot because they don’t like needles,” Powers said.

To help combat this, she said the syringe used is now smaller and will not cause soreness, because it only goes into the top layer of skin, not the muscle.

She said students who are already exhibiting symptoms and have a fever of over 100 degrees should stay out of class and activities for four days. Although the center cannot excuse students from class, Powers said they’ve sent out emails to faculty encouraging them to be lenient on absences due to the flu.